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By Brittany Yap, associate editor

In addition to teaching for HPU’s College of Communication, Chang teaches ethnic studies part time for the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa and is a practicing attorney and labor negotiator during the day. He is an arbitrator for labor grievances between unions and employers, and he counsels private companies about labor and employment issues. Chang is also the managing director at Pacific Edge and a partner at Pacific Resources. He is a member of the Hawai‘i Government Employee Association (HGEA) and the president of the Chinatown Historical Society of Honolulu.

Chang’s interest in labor unions came early. “I was raised in public housing in a working-class family,” Chang said.

Chang’s mother was a clerk-typist, and his father was a pipe fitter. While getting a B.A. in Accounting at UH-Manoa, he realized that, “The United States is the most capitalistic and legalistic country in the world.”

“ In order to survive in this society, you have to understand it,” Chang added. And that is one of the reasons he went to law school.

Chang sees himself as a bridge between the system and working-class people: “I am not a union activist,” Chang said. But he believes that “Unions are useful because they are organized, and they have many resources.”

Chang’s Labor Relation class has 12 students, who, according to his syllabus, will “explore the history, culture, and future of labor relations in the United States and Hawai‘i.” Chang wants his students to “understand how the labor relations message is shaped, organized, and delivered in the community.”

After law school, Chang taught Problems in Hawaiian Politics at Honolulu Community College, worked as a guidance counselor, a legislative aide at the Hawai‘i State Capitol, a program planner in Governor Ariyoshi’s office, a Hawai‘i state senator, a hearings officer at the State Department of Social Services, a deputy corporation counsel officer for the City and County of Honolulu, and a director of Contract Implementation for the United Public Workers, to name only a few of his many positions and accomplishments.

Chang lives in Nu‘uanu with his wife, Lisa Konove, and three daughters—Ahnya 25, Cymri 21, and Morgen 16.


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